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Literacy for Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss

Strategy 3: Provide opportunities to use new vocabulary in a variety of situations.

What to Do

  • Identify key vocabulary relevant to student across environments (home, school, community).
  • Identify key vocabulary utilized across the curriculum (reading, math, science, social studies, etc.).
  • Provide opportunities to embed vocabulary in daily routines and naturally occurring situations.
  • Provide hands-on experiences with new vocabulary in real environments.      
  • Make vocabulary available and accessible to student throughout all environments.
  • Provide multisensory experiences for identified vocabulary: taste, smell, tactile, visual and auditory.
  • Use word sorts to compare and contrast vocabulary.
  • Utilize thematic units to reinforce vocabulary and expand concept acquisition.
  • Provide repeated exposure to identified vocabulary words.
  • Keep a journal of learned vocabulary for the student to reference and for the teacher to plan for further vocabulary expansion.
  • Write experience stories with student to reinforce vocabulary learning.
  • Systematically review words previously taught.

Things to Consider

  • Are all service providers utilizing the same strategies for teaching/incorporating vocabulary?
  • Are you sharing vocabulary with other teachers, paraprofessionals, related service providers and home?
  • Are you providing students who are visually impaired with a personal copy of vocabulary materials?
  • Are vocabulary words posted throughout the classroom in a variety of ways—bulletin boards, charts, flash cards, etc.? Does the student have the same access to vocabulary words in multiple formats?  
  • Are you providing opportunities for the student to generalize new vocabulary?
  • If your student is using picture or tactile symbols, have you included text on all symbols?

Always Ask Yourself